Friday, April 9, 2010
Last Monday, I had the opportunity to watch the Space Shuttle Discovery takeoff from the Kennedy Space Center, with my son and father-in-law. It was a special treat. Words cannot describe the thunder of the rockets, a sound that can be heard from as far away as Orlando. From just a few miles, it was like being pushed back by a wall of sound. Amazing.
Discovery lifted off at6:21 AM and created an artificial sunrise. Unfortunately this is one of the last times we'll see this sight and hear the tremendous sound, because come October, the shuttle program will be history.
As a fifth grader, I watched the first shuttle, Columbia, launch and return to earth. Back then it was a nationwide event. Twenty nine years have passed since that time and the launches have become routine. People regard the shuttle as little more than a truck service into outer space.
It's unfortunate the program is ending with nothing to replace it. There was a similar lull after the Apollo program ended in the 1970s. Like that lull, I hope this one is temporary and more exciting things are yet to come.
Posted by Mark Webb